Last day

Well it feels a bit sad to be finishing today, we feel we could continue almost indefinitely. Our favourite blue wooden triangular pencil was lost (or perhaps stolen) in the wastes of Kazakstan and if we decide to turn back and search for it then both men and machine would be more than capable enough.

Highs and lows

There really haven’t been many lows – of course our accident in China was a bad start, and you could single out the stone throwing in Iran and Turkey as the only bum note in the entire event, and even then the reaction of the teams that had windscreens smashed or suffered damage to cherished parts was exemplary. There are grumbles about the event and the relentless pressing on with no time to stop, look, listen, talk but it is what it is and I think you have to accept it as such. The food in Central Asia deserves mention for being uniformly dull. A lack of both ingredient and imagination.

I’ll get to the highs in a moment, the route on this last day is a maze of tiny minor roads weaving through rural France towards Paris. As we pass through the tiny hamlet of Diant an elderly madame settles her ample bosom on the window sill in a manner that suggests it is her daily custom to do so and watch the world go by. And today finally she is rewarded by the sight of 80 or so magnificent machines. She is no doubt pleased to discover that Diant is on the silk route from Peking to Paris. And this is one of the highs – the simple and evident pleasure that we have brought to so many people young and old, knowledgeable about cars or not who enjoy seeing these old cars pass by.

The other highs in no particular order:

That we had no punctures, never ran out of fuel and had no significant navigational errors.

One thing that really worked well was the flying jackets, sheepskin hats, leather gauntlets and goggles from Jerry Leech at Greycar. Couldn’t recommend them highly enough, they have given great service and will remain friends for life.

The spirit of the rally has been excellent. Although we are competing against each other, everyone is generous with their spares, advice and time and we have kept each other going making many friends along the way.

A real high has been the fantastic design and engineering of the Bentley four and a half. It is so much stronger and better than we had imagined was possible. The engine and running gear have been superb, never missing a beat and pulling us up and over the most outrageous obstacles day after day. It has been an absolute and undiluted pleasure to drive and maintain. We have learnt a lot and are getting tolerably proficient at driving it now.

Do please think about making a contribution to our chosen charity The Afghanistan Trust

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7 responses to “Last day

  1. Bravo Little Bros. What a journey, and one where we have been with you all the way. We can only wonder at what you have experienced and seen; no surprises that you didn’t want it to end. A well earned break ahead of you, you have earned it. Good luck on the final challenge – the Paris to Haslemere Rally.

  2. Congratulations! A brilliant achievement. I’ve enjoyed reading all about it immensely.

  3. Congratulations many times over – you deserve a huge celebration. And lots of bragging rights :-)

  4. Well, the end of a very enjoyable armchair adventure for us blogsters. Very well done to you both. 10th out of 58 in your class when I last looked and a well deserved Gold medal retained. You give due credit to the car, but I think your prep, tenacity and resilience, especially when tired and ill, have been critical. Also typical good humour in the face of adversity. No doubt you’d both have made top WW1 pilots!! All the miners got out safely and QPR remain unbeaten after drawing 0-0 today. A weekend of really good news all round…

  5. DAVID Cakebread

    David and Peter.
    I have been following your progress and I am amazed at the strength of the
    Bentley, covering many miles of very poor tracks(not roads).
    Extremely well done, both of you, my congrats.
    your mum and dad would have been proud of you!
    David C.

  6. Superb effort, I look forward to the film, play and book

    Lizzie sends her love

  7. Well done guys, brilliant achievement, not just to finish but to finish so well.
    Sorry not be at the Place Vendome – we are there in spirit.

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